Spi-rella is a tent compatible with all terrains. The design, inspired by the anatomy of a spider and the function of an umbrella, was made in the light of difficulties faced in re-locating thousands of people affected by the 2010 floods in Pakistan.
The structure of a spi-rella comprises a spider frame and canvas covering. The canvas sheet is attached to the frame by means of hooks and ropes. The part of the frame that stays above the ground is made of bamboo, while the base is made of a steel structure fixed with a contracted internal steel spring. The joints connected the frame to the pillar are tailor-made, the material being aluminum.
Ease and fast pace of deployment means that all that needs to be done is to take spi-rellas to the desired area, fix the central pillar inside the ground and pull out all the other legs. A heavy spring fitted inside each leg as well as the pillar further eases deployment in softer terrains. This feature was kept taking into account the terrains in the northern region of Pakistan, the areas worst affected by the flood. Harder surfaces would require only a foot deep excavation, hence reducing the work load compared to conventional tents and providing a stronger base, not to mention safety against pegs that become a threat in the severe weather up north.
Material chosen initially was aluminum for the entire project. This, however, was replaced by bamboo, steel and aluminum as this combination costs less. While the total cost, initially, was coming to PKR 25,000 (US$ 291 approx.) this change in material brings the cost down to a maximum of PKR 16,000 (US$ 186 approx).
Groups of spi-rellas installed in formation allows a space in the middle of 4 spi-rellas, allowing space for social activities as well as privacy.